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"No" on S. 1845, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act.
January 6, 2014
NTU urges all Senators to vote “No” on S. 1845, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. This legislation would retroactively extend federal unemployment insurance for three months, triggering yet another artificial “emergency” just around the corner.
The relatively short three-month timeline of this scheme belies its very real and substantial cost. The Congressional Budget Office estimates S. 1845 will increase the deficit by $6.6 billion in 2014. Despite a prolonged fight this fall over out-of-control federal spending, S. 1845 makes no attempt to offset these billions of dollars in new spending. Rather than write more checks on Washington’s already-overdrawn “account,” Congress should consider cost-saving reforms and spending cuts to ensure S. 1845 doesn’t drag down the bottom-line even further.
Over the past several years during the economic downturn, Congress has repeatedly extended federal unemployment compensation from an initial 26 weeks to 73 or even 99 weeks depending on the state. During the same time, unemployment rates have remained stubbornly high. It’s clear that extensions aren’t the unemployment panacea that workers and the job market need at this time. Block-granting federal unemployment insurance would reduce federal meddling and empower states to ensure scarce dollars are allocated where they are most needed, thereby saving taxpayers money. Stricter guidelines to encourage job-seekers to get back to work sooner could help to disincentivize long-term unemployment, itself a hindrance to re-employment.
Continuing to pass straight extensions of federal unemployment insurance will do neither taxpayers nor the unemployed any favors. It’s time to enact real reforms and reexamine the current safety-net regime.
Roll call votes on S. 1845 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “No” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700